NEW YORK — Theatergoers who check out “Beautiful” on tour won’t get to see Tony winner Jessie Mueller but they may get the next best thing – someone with her DNA.

Mueller’s older sister Abby has stepped into her sister’s shoes to play Carole King in the Broadway musical about the celebrated “I Feel the Earth Move” songwriter.

Abby Mueller acknowledged she was “a little hesitant” to audition for a part that earned her sister a bestactress Tony Award last year.

“I’m really glad my agent convinced me to and I’m really glad they saw something in me. I’ve just been having the best time doing this,” said Abby Mueller. “As soon as I got the audition, I called Jessie. I was like, ‘I’ve got a funny story for you.”’

Jessie and Abby Mueller are just the tip of the talented, Chicago-based Mueller family. Their brothers, Matt and Andrew, as well as their parents, Roger Mueller and Jill Shellabarger, are all actors.

“Beautiful” director Marc Bruni said Abby, who graduated from Indiana University and has been on Broadway in “Kinky Boots,” earned the job with her skills.

“We did not set out to specifically cast within the Mueller family. Abby is an extraordinary talent in her own right,” he said.

“She is creating her own version of Carole that has all of the emotional resonance and all of the truthful acting that comes with the Mueller family and their amazing accessibility of emotion.”

The tour kicks off in Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday. It makes stops in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Texas, California and Colorado.

One of the tour’s highlights for Mueller will be spending the holidays and New Year’s Eve in Chicago. “It’s going to be awesome. I’m thrilled,” she said. “I haven’t been home for Christmas in years.”


Comments are not available on this story.